Do you love the rural charm of the English cottage style? This decorating trend inspired by traditional English cottages has been for over a century and is still one of the most popular decorating trends today.
It’s perfect for anyone who wants to add a touch of cozy elegance to their home. So, let’s find out more about it and learn how to achieve this look in your home.
English Cottage Style History
English cottage style originates in 19th century England.
The exterior of typical English-cottage-style homes is characterized by:
- Stone/brick walls
- Wood beams
- Steep (thatched) gabled roofs
- Small, arched doors with leaded-glass windows
- Ivy-covered fences
- Lavish gardens overflowing with roses, lavender, and other flowers
Cozy one-story homes of characteristic simple design reminiscent of rural medieval buildings quickly became popular among the English middle class.
But it wasn’t only the English villages that fell for this charming style. It quickly spread and won the hearts of homeowners worldwide (especially when it comes to the interior). So, nowadays, it can be seen in many countries, including the US, Australia, and New Zealand.
Creating Cozy English Cottage Interiors
What does it take to bring the cottage style into your rooms?
This section will guide you through the main characteristics of English-cottage-inspired spaces and decor, room by room, and give you an idea of how to embrace this traditional style in your modern home.
Cottage-Inspired Decor in the Kitchen
English cottage decorating style is very popular for kitchens.
You can bring in a touch of its characteristic coziness by including natural materials like:
- Granite, etc.
Including some of the following country-style elements should be enough to give your kitchen a touch of warm rustic charm:
- Distressed wood cabinets, cupboards, or open shelving for displaying dishes and other kitchen items
- Granite countertops
- Textured fabrics (e.g., curtains) with floral prints
- A farmhouse sink
- An old-fashion stove
- Ceramic tile floors, etc.
English Cottage Living Room
There are a couple essential items for creating a perfect rustic English cottage atmosphere in your living room.
Let’s check them out.
Nothing screams coziness more than a fireplace—an item often found in English cottages.
Still, having an actual fireplace in your home isn’t indispensable for achieving the warm cottage aesthetic. You can create a similar effect by using a wood-burning stove or an electric fireplace.
Upholstered Chairs and Sofas
Don’t forget to add plenty of comfortable seating (e.g., a good reading chair) and lots of cushions, throw blankets, etc., so you can enjoy your living space to the fullest.
A range of textured upholstery fabrics in gentle tones can be used to create inviting and warm English cottage interiors:
- Rough linens
- Chenille, etc.
Style-wise, you should avoid anything too modern or sleek and opt for pieces made of natural materials like wood or rattan.
Curtains are another key element for providing a truly inviting, even romantic look. Opt for soft fabrics like cotton or linen in light colors or subtle floral patterns.
English Cottage Decor in the Bedroom
The English-cottage-style bedroom is timeless and evokes feelings of warmth and comfort.
You can create a rustic cottage atmosphere by introducing some of the following items:
- A four-poster
- Rustic bedside tables and dressers
- Flannel or cotton bedding in solid colors or simple patterns
- Floral fabrics
- Window treatments in light colors or simple patterns
- A warm quilt or a rustic duvet cover
- Plenty of pillows and throws
- Wallpapers with floral or nature-inspired patterns, etc.
How to Create an English Cottage Interior—Essential Tips
You don’t have to live in the countryside to adopt the cottage-inspired design in your home. Get creative and start merging your home’s contemporary design with rustic, country English-cottage features.
1. Use Natural Materials Indoors and Outdoors
One of the key elements of the English cottage trend is using natural materials, such as:
- Metal, etc.
The most common type of wood in the traditional English cottage interior is rough-hewn oak (commonly used for exposed ceiling beams and flooring). Furthermore, stone and brick are popular choices for walls and fireplaces.
You can also add rustic character to your home by using metal or corrugated iron roofing.
Natural materials are also welcome indoors (in furniture, decor, etc.).
2. Incorporate Antiques
Antiques can bring a great deal of character and charm to the home and are a key element of English country cottage decor.
They include anything from vintage furnishings to ornate light fixtures, folk art, and china.
One way to start your collection is by shopping at antique stores or online auctions. But you can also find antique pieces at flea markets and garage sales. Just bear in mind that antique items usually come at a hefty price and often require a generous budget.
So, if you’re unwilling to spend a lot at once, you could start small and gradually add vintage pieces to your home. Furthermore, you could try restoring or upcycling some old furniture pieces to save a buck.
3. Opt for Furniture With Character
Choose cozy and comfortable furniture (sofas, chairs, ottomans, coffee tables, etc.) for your English cottage home. Avoid anything too formal or stiff, and opt for rustic-looking pieces made of natural materials instead.
Antique or not, you should choose pieces with character (e.g., handcrafted or those with interesting details).
4. Incorporate Florals
Incorporating floral patterns into your design is another key element here.
This can be done through:
- Art, etc.
However, keep in mind that not any floral pattern will do. To achieve the English-cottage-inspired look, go for small and delicate floral patterns.
5. Pick the Right Colors
The colors used in English-cottage-style homes are also used to create a calming, relaxing atmosphere.
They’re typically muted, soft, or neutral and include:
- Light blue
If you want to add some contrast, you can use black or dark brown for accent pieces. Remember, the goal is to create a warm and inviting space, so avoid using too bright or bold colors.
6. Add Some Texture
Textures are key in cottage-style decorating. Use wicker, burlap, tweed, and other textures to create a cozy atmosphere in your home.
5. Decorate With Plants
English cottage decor also includes plants:
- A variety of potted plants
- A variety of greens
Flowers (e.g., lavender, roses, daisies, etc.) are a great way to brighten up a room and add some color. In addition, the fresh ones smell good and can even purify and oxygenize the air. If you don’t have a lot of space, you could try growing herbs on your windowsill.
You could also introduce some lush greenery (trees, shrubs, etc.) into your yard to create a natural feel characteristic of English cottage-inspired homes.
And if you don’t have a green thumb, that’s okay. There are plenty of low-maintenance plants perfect for those who don’t have time to care for them. Alternatively, you can also use artificial flowers and get more or less the same effect.
6. Create a Cozy Atmosphere
Cottage homes are known for their cozy, inviting atmosphere, which can be created in many ways!
English cottage decorating and styling is focused on comfort and simplicity.
So, for example, you can include:
- Rustic and timeworn furniture
- WIndow seats
- Plenty of built-in shelves
- Lots of texture
- Plenty of soft fabrics (e.g., throw blankets, pillows, drapes, rugs, etc.)
- Warm colors
- A(n) (electric) fireplace or a wood-burning stove, etc.
Don’t forget to add some personal decor to your home (e.g., family photos, heirlooms, and other mementos). These items will help make your English-cottage-inspired house feel like a true home.
So, there you have it! By following these tips and investing a little effort, you can create a cozy and charming English cottage-inspired home of your own!
So, what are you waiting for? Start decorating!
What is the English cottage style?
English cottage style interior design entails a mix of medieval, rustic, shabby chic, and contemporary elements reminiscent of the rural houses in England in the Middle Ages.
What are the characteristics of an English cottage?
English cottage exterior usually features:
- Stone or half-timbered walls
- Steeply pitched, cross-gabled, or thatched roofs
- Massive chimneys
- Half-round or arched doors with decorative hardware, etc.
English cottage style interior design typically entails:
- Graceful lines
- Comfortable furniture
- Warm colors and floral patterns
- Natural elements
- Natural-fiber carpeting, etc.